Published on October 21st, 2019 | by Zorbz
REVIEW: Doraemon Story Of Seasons
REVIEWED BY – MINIMALCAT
Summary: Doraemon Story of Seasons is a mashup of the famous Japanese characters alongside the evolution from the original Harvest Moon developers at Marvelous, and it’s the first Story of Seasons game in Full HD on the Switch. It plays like other farming simulators, but does the twist pay off?
Concept/Story: Noby, the main character you play needs to do something for his summer project and finds a magic seed, which he plants until it grows and a storm happens – transporting them to a different time period. In this new town, the mayor kind of forces the children to work in his town, including you and your friends – a blue robot cat Doraemon, and some less interesting friends I don’t remember so much (in a 40 minute opening sequence that somehow makes child slavery cute).
The main objective is to locate Doraemon’s missing gadgets that became lost during the time-travel storm, some of the townsfolk have them, and will give you tasks to complete in exchange – which mostly involve doing the same sort of things you’d do in any other Story of Seasons or Stardew Valley-type game.
Graphics: Look phenomenal in handheld mode, stylised with watercolour inspired scenery which is a perfect fit for the cutesy tone of the game – and way above the pixel art of other imitations. On the other hand, in docked mode Noby looks a little out of place, with a contrast of jagged edges and animation style that felt out of place with the rest of the game, taking me out of the immersion occasionally.
The rest of the townsfolk and characters look great, with rich colours that pop in every screenshot or gameplay demo you’ll ever see for this game.
Gameplay: The gameplay in the Story of Seasons game has always been repetitive, but that’s part of the appeal if you like these sorts of games like I do. One thing that stands out is how much easier this game feels in terms of money and stamina. You’re able to buy things much earlier in the game – which may be to introduce younger gamers to the series.
New features which make this game a little easier than previous entries include:
– Superglove: helps you plant seeds/spread fertiliser quicker
– Anywhere Door: helps you fast-travel around the town
– Napping: helps your character regain stamina without food or medicine
– Searching Cane: a compass that points toward the NPC you select
Sound: Each Story of Seasons game has always had its own distinctive soundtrack, and this one is no different – with tunes that are easy to hum along to and change with the seasons and weather. Although while I (MinimalCat) was playing in docked mode with Snrub, he found the music to sound like it was being played back on an old stretched VHS tape but I don’t think it sounds old! He sounds old!
Every time you use a tool, Noby will make a “YAH” or similar, which didn’t bother me as this is standard in all Story of Season games but might be a reason to use headphones if it’s driving other people nearby insane as you need to use tools constantly.
Awesomeness: Every new feature that gets introduce adds new twists to the gameplay that made me go “wow, that’s cool” or “why have they never done this before!” I listed a couple earlier in this review, but the magic and whimsy definitely helps this title stand out.
My favourite moment involved a side quest that required saving a puppy from a rockslide using a special gadget that I had to earn. I was so emotionally invested and surprised, since I was just wandering around the area, heard whimpering and saw the puppy in distress and gave me a real sense of urgency to help. It was fun to actually figure these things out by playing the game early, rather than looking up Wiki pages or How-To guides.
Final Word: I’m a huge fan of the Story of Seasons games developed by Marvelous studios. I’ll probably keep playing this one long after this review just because it’s the best looking version to date, but it’s held back by its concept which makes it hard to immerse yourself as you don’t get to make this your own story. It’s Doraemon’s.
Out of 5 Bugs!